Dr. Joy's
Bee Sting Rx

Dateline: 11 August 2014

Dr. Joy is nine years old. She's not really a doctor, of course. She's just a dear girl who attends the same church Marlene and I go to. She has one younger sister, two younger brothers, and another sibling on the way. Joy is blessed with godly parents who I admire because they take their Christian faith seriously, live frugally in a simple rural home, and have taken on the responsibility of educating their children themselves. Joy's father is a capable man who works hard to provide for his family. They are my kind of people. It has been a great pleasure to know this family, to see the children be born and grow up, and to interact with them.

It was a few weeks ago, after church, that Joy told me about plantain for bug bites and bee stings. She told me that if you get a bee sting, you just chew a plantain leaf, and put it on the sting, and it won't hurt anymore. In case you don't know, plantain is a ubiquitous weed. Joy told me that the leaf tastes terrible, but it really works to cure a bee sting. She knows this from experience.

I was impressed with this useful little bit of medical advice, especially coming from a 9-year-old girl. So impressed, in fact, that I told Marlene about it on the way home from church. And I have since bestowed the honor of the medical prefix: Dr. Joy 

It has a nice sound to it, don't you think?

But there is more to this story…..

Yesterday afternoon, Marlene walked into the house with a plantain leaf in her hand.  She told me she had just gotten a bee sting on her finger. I took the leaf and quickly mashed it to a pulp in my little mortar & pestle (pictured above, with some young plantain leaves). 

I could have chewed it. Marlene wouldn't mind. But I like using the mortar & pestle. I've used it to mash comfrey leaves for a small poultice in the past. It mashed up the plantain leaf just fine. I added a couple drops of water to make the job a little easier.

Less than 3 minutes after getting stung I had put a dab of the plantain mash on the bee sting, and taped it in place...

Marlene said the pain of the sting subsided quickly. After an hour or so, she removed the plantain mash and everything was fine. 

It really works.


Frank and Fern said...

Please tell Dr. Joy thank you for me. Now I just need to know how to identify plantain and see if we have any around here.


Anonymous said...

Plantain also works amazingly well for mosquito and spider bites. I make & sell a salve made with plantain leaves, and everyone who tries it is amazed at how well it works.
Ruth (RuthsHomemade@blogspot.com)

Oh, and plantain is also an edible salad green (not too nasty if it's young, but it does get bitter when it's older - the main reason we don't eat much of it is the strings. The kids just can't stand the texture. Otherwise it wasn't too bad.)

Herrick Kimball said...

Will do.

Very nice. Here's a hotline for people to learn more about your products…
Ruth's Homemade Salves

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to some information on plantains mixtures. I have lots here and will keep this invaluable information in mind the next time I disturb the ground bees. http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-health/herb-infused-oils-and-salves-with-plantain-and-violet-leaf.aspx#axzz3AFhXCBbz

cnybeth said...

Bee stings at our house have a 3 day course. Day 1 is painful and 2 and 3 are swollen and itchy. Did the plantain do anything for day 2 and 3 or is her finger still swollen and itchy?

Thanks for the update!

Herrick Kimball said...


Marlene says the painful went right away with the plantain.

There was some minor swelling and itching for the next couple of days. But it was minor.

Anonymous said...

You would like the book, "Health through God's Pharmacy" by Maria Treben. I've read it cover to cover and have used several ideas so far with success. Some claims seem extraordinary, but God has tucked some amazing medicine into plants so I won't doubt it till I prove it wrong! It is an excellent book to have on hand for keeping ourselves healthy & healing serious stuff using plants we can grow ourselves. Thanks for your website, we've learned (& enjoyed) so much!

Anonymous said...

P.S: Sorry, I forgot to mention, the reason your post made me think of the book is because she suggests that very thing regarding plantain (plus a bunch more!). Thanks!

SharonR said...

Yes, I've read about this, but it was using the plantain for some kind of other ailment. I think it was just some kind of other sore or infection. The remedy was the same - chew it and stick it on. This was about 20 years ago. I've never used it, but we have the stuff everywhere. I'll have to really use it. Thanks for this bit of medical advice. :-)